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Archive for Friday, August 9, 2013

City commissioners asked to approve credit card and gate system for new downtown parking garage

August 9, 2013

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Soon there will be a new place to park in downtown, and a new chance to give the city a little bit of credit too — as in your credit card.

City Manager David Corliss is now projecting that the city's new Vermont Street parking garage will be open in time for Kansas University's first home football game on Sept. 7. When it opens, it may have a new look for downtown as well: a gated entry and exit system that will allow motorists to pay their parking fees by credit card.

"We have had more patrons talking about how they don't have coins anymore," Corliss said. "We are trying to increase the payment options."

City commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting will be asked to approve about $170,000 in purchases to equip the parking garage, which is located next to the Lawrence Public Library site at Seventh and Vermont, with the gate and credit card system.

Kansas University uses a similar system on its parking garages, but it would be a first for the city's parking system. In addition, commissioners will be asked to approve several other items related to the garage. They include:

• Setting the parking rates for the garage at 20 cents per hour, which is different than other downtown parking rates. At two-hour parking meters, rates run 50 cents per hour. At 10-hour parking meters, rates are 10 cents per hour. Corliss said he feels a rate in between the two for the garage would be fair for both short-term and long-term parking.

• Approving parking enforcement hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the parking garage. That's also slightly different from the hours elsewhere downtown. In the city's two other downtown parking garages, enforcement hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and parking meters are patrolled from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Corliss said he's recommending something in the middle of those ranges to ensure there is always a parking attendant available in downtown to fix any issues that may arise with a stuck gate or other malfunctions. During off hours, the gates will be up and parking in the garage will be free.

• Approving a system that will allow people who purchase long-term parking passes, which sell for $192 a year at City Hall, to use the new garage without paying a fee at the gate by using a "proximity card" that will raise the gates when their vehicles approach.

Corliss said construction work on the garage is progressing well. Crews are starting to install the exterior screen mesh, which is designed to provide a covering for the garage but also allow natural light into the structure.

"You are starting to get the sense of what it really will look like now," Corliss said.

Corliss said he is optimistic that at least a portion of the garage will be open by the time KU's football season begins. The site at Seventh and Vermont streets will be a location for football fans to catch a shuttle to Memorial Stadium.

When the garage is completed, it will have 324 spaces, up from about 125 spaces that existed in the city's surface parking lot that previously was located on the site.

The garage will have entrances and exits off of both Kentucky and Vermont streets, Corliss said. He said he's excited to see how the gate system works because it may have potential to be used in other downtown parking lots or garages. Corliss thinks the system has a chance to be a money-saver because it won't require parking control officers to frequently go to the garage and write tickets, which also will save costs at Municipal Court.

"We are going to have to move our parking system, like we are other parts of government, to more automation," Corliss said.

The system, however, won't shut out people who still want to use coins or cash to pay their parking fees. The garage will have stations where people can use coins and cash to obtain a paid receipt that can be inserted at the gate.

Corliss said he thinks the credit card option will be heavily used. But he said don't expect changes in the near term to allow for credit card payments at meters on Massachusetts Street. He said changing hundreds of meter heads to allow for credit card payments may not be cost effective.

"We maybe get $3 or $4 a day from a parking meter," Corliss said.

He said the city is watching how other communities are implementing systems that include mid-block pay stations where people can use credit cards. Those pay stations produce a receipt that can be affixed to the vehicle, and alerts parking attendants that the motorist has paid for parking.

"We are looking for ways to make it convenient and cost-effective for visitors and employees to park in downtown," Corliss said.

Commissioners will discuss the parking garage issues at their 6:35 p.m. meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

Comments

David Holroyd 1 year, 4 months ago

Put meters in all of the lots and give the property owners a returmpn on ther investment. 24/7 paid parking. Quit paying a city employee to walk around with a piece of chalk on a stick.

Lawrence is so backwards.

John Kyle 1 year, 4 months ago

You want 24hr paid parking but no one to actually go around and check if people are paying to park there? I believe you are the backwards one.

d_prowess 1 year, 4 months ago

So you can be in there all day and pay nothing as long as you make sure you don't leave until after 6pm?

John Kyle 1 year, 4 months ago

yes, it is. Did you really need to ask?

Deb Stavin 1 year, 4 months ago

I don't have a credit card and I don't want one.

Brian Hall 1 year, 4 months ago

"The system, however, won't shut out people who still want to use coins or cash to pay their parking fees. The garage will have stations where people can use coins and cash to obtain a paid receipt that can be inserted at the gate."

George_Braziller 1 year, 4 months ago

So you have to find a place to park to use cash to get a receipt so you can park in the garage?

Steve Jacob 1 year, 4 months ago

170K for a system and pay 20 cents per hour before 6PM? Why even charge for parking? Each credit card swipe cost money, heck I bet if someone parks for under an hour, swipe the card for 20 cents, the credit card company will charge the city more then that.

cowboy 1 year, 4 months ago

Its a pretty obvious fact that parking enforcement does not pay for itself. Its a break even process at best. In a good year fines collected by municipal court might cover the cost of enforcement personnel labor but I doubt the cost of benefits , vehicles are covered by fine revenue not to mention the costs incurred in Municipal court to process all this paperwork. You have to ask why bother with this superstitious dance the city gores thru each day from 8-6 pm.

Make the parking free everywhere and quit wasting money on meters , credit card systems , meter people , vehicles , court costs.

If the city is enamored with credit card technology why not get the water department to take payments online without the fees. seem every little website on the net can master this technology but the city can't.

buffalo63 1 year, 4 months ago

I hope the City actually talks to KU Parking about their gates on the garage on Jayhawk Blvd. and stay AWAY from the company that installed those gates. KU had all kinds of trouble with their gates not opening or cards not working properly. Understand Hollywood casino in KC had the same company and troubles. Do some homework and not go with the sales pitch!

Keith 1 year, 4 months ago

"• Approving a system that will allow people who purchase long-term parking passes, which sell for $192 a year at City Hall, to use the new garage without paying a fee at the gate by using a "proximity card" that will raise the gates when their vehicles approach. "

This will be known as the Eldridge Hotel valet permit.

Jayhawker07 1 year, 4 months ago

That has always been my thought from the beginning. And do you really believe Frizel will be paying full price for each card. I would say at least half price or less will be given to them. Next will be the purchase of the post office and the addition for the hotel. Do I see the city paying for more underground privite parking for the developer in our future, hmmm?

patkindle 1 year, 4 months ago

if folks don't carry coins, what do they give the beggars downtown? maybe we should furnish the downtown bums with phones that have apps to take credit cards, how cool would that be ?

ontheright 1 year, 4 months ago

Stupid! The tax payers obviously have way too much money for dumb things!

Ginny Hedges 1 year, 4 months ago

So you will be able to pay for parking with a credit card, yet the city will still charge you to use a credit card to pay your water bill??

Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

Adopt on second and final reading, the following ordinances:

a) Ordinance No. 8886, approving and appropriating the 2013 City of Lawrence Operating and Capital Improvement Budget.

b) Ordinance No. 8887, attesting to the increase in property taxes levied for 2014.

c) Ordinance No. 8883, establishing water and sanitary sewer service rates, effective November 15, 2013.

d) Ordinance No. 8892, allowing the possession and consumption of alcoholic liquor on Massachusetts Street from North Park Street to South Park Street on Sunday, August 25, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

e) Ordinance No. 8893, to establish an ALL-WAY STOP at the intersection of Lincoln Street and 5th Street (approved by City Commission on 7/23/13).

f) Ordinance No. 8894, to establish a SPEED LIMIT of 25MPH on Lincoln Street, between 2nd Street and 7th Street (approved by City Commission on 7/23/13).

g) Ordinance No. 8888, to rezone (Z-13-00199) approximately .06 acre from OS-FP (Open Space with Floodplain Management Regulations Overlay) District to RM-12-FP (Multi-Dwelling Residential with Floodplain Management Regulations Overlay) District, located at 3309 W 31st St. (PC Item 5A; approved 6-0 on 7/22/13)

h) Ordinance No. 8889, to rezone (Z-13-00249) approximately 13.06 acres from RM12 (Multi-Dwelling Residential) District to RM12 (Multi-Dwelling Residential) District to revise condition, located at 3309 W 31st St. (PC Item 5B; approved 6-0 on 7/22/13)

i) Ordinance No. 8890, to rezone (Z-13-00250) approximately 6.39 acres from RM12-FP (Multi-Dwelling Residential with Floodplain Management Regulations Overlay) District to RM12-FP (Multi-Dwelling Residential with Floodplain Management Regulations Overlay) District to revise condition, located at 3309 W. 31st St. (PC Item 5C; approved 6-0 on 7/22/13)

  1. Adopt the following resolutions: c) Resolution No. 7040, authorizing the issuance of General Obligation Bonds for acquisition, construction, and equipping a public safety facility (future police building) in the amount of $1,500,000. Staff Memo & Attachments

  2. Authorize the Mayor to sign Department of Army Permit Number NWK-2011-124, for the construction of 31st Street, from Haskell to O’Connell. Staff Memo & Attachments

http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2013/08-13-13/08-13-13_agenda_click_here.html

Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

Definition of 'General Obligation Bond - GO' A municipal bond backed by the credit and "taxing power" of the issuing jurisdiction rather than the revenue from a given project.

Investopedia explains 'General Obligation Bond - GO' General obligation bonds are issued with the belief that a municipality will be able to repay its debt obligation through taxation or revenue from projects. No assets are used as collateral.

http://bonds.about.com/od/munibonds/a/The-Difference-Between-General-Obligation-And-Revenue-Bonds.htm

http://news.morningstar.com/classroom2/course.asp?docid=5384&page=2

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